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What is the practical use of a 1-3/4" dia. straight bit?

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Forum topic by Rob posted 348 days ago 609 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rob

238 posts in 1666 days


348 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: router router bit

Everyone knows that common piece of advice about router bits, “Always buy the biggest bit you can afford,” right?

A few months ago I splurged on a 1/2” shank, 1-3/4” diameter Freud bit and it set me back $42. Misinterpreting some routing advice that I read, I thought it would be handy for cutting circles in 1/2” plywood in one pass (without having to rough cut with my jigsaw). I quickly found that was a stupid idea and that I still have to either rough cut my circles or make several passes. In hindsight, it seems like I would have been better off buying a compression bit (since I’m using plywood, after all) and/or just using one of my smaller straight bits.

I also thought another benefit of having a larger bit was that I could feed material more quickly without heating the bit up. However, I’ve noticed that I’ve scratched the paint on the bit’s body (at least, that’s what I’m calling the main hunk of metal beyond the shaft, to which the cutters are attached). The only way I think I could have done this was by feeding the material too fast, but maybe it happened when I was cutting my first circle in a single pass and the router got bogged down.

So, I have a couple questions:

1. At what point does the “buy the biggest bit you can afford” rule start to break down? In other words, assuming the same profile and carbide length, when you reach a point of diminishing returns in terms of diameter?
2. In what situations will I be glad I have a 1-3/4” diameter straight bit? (well…other than bragging rights)


10 replies so far

View JustJoe's profile

JustJoe

1554 posts in 633 days


#1 posted 348 days ago

Is this the bit you bought?
http://www.amazon.com/Freud-12-194-4-Inch-Diameter-Straight/dp/B00004T7CZ#productDetails

If so, it’s not made for plunge-cutting holes, that’s what all the different tyes of drill bits are for.
It’s made for routing big-a$$ dadoes or rabbets.

If that’s not the bit you bought, then disregard but please show us which one you’re talking about..

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

View Wally331's profile

Wally331

218 posts in 620 days


#2 posted 348 days ago

I can’t answer your first question, but for the second question, a 1-3/4” diameter bit or the like is often used on router sleds for things like flattening end grain cutting boards. Other then that, maybe a big dado or rabbet like JustJoe said?

View patron's profile

patron

12952 posts in 1936 days


#3 posted 348 days ago

the bigger the bit
the slower the speed (rotating speed) needs to be
or it will burn its way through the work

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3272 posts in 1789 days


#4 posted 348 days ago

That’s the wrong bit for what you described you used it for…...For plunge cutting you need a spiral bit for cutting circles….That bit you got is NOT a plunge-cutter…..But don’t discard it just yet…...it has other good uses…...Just like clamps, you can never have too many router bits…......

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View Rob's profile

Rob

238 posts in 1666 days


#5 posted 348 days ago

JustJoe: Yeah, that’s the one. I was able to cut my circle without needing to plunge cut by starting at the edge of the board. Thanks for the tips; big dadoes & rabbets make sense…I guess maybe the 1-1/2” dia. bit would have been a little more practical since it would cut a perfect-sized slot for a 2×4.

Wally: Thanks, I hadn’t thought of that. I’m sure I’ll make a cutting board eventually, so I’ll have to keep this in mind.

Patron: Thanks for the tip. I don’t remember what speed I was using, but I think I had it set to whatever the router manual recommended. I didn’t get any burning but I’ll be sure to double-check the speed when I change between big & small bits.

Rick: Thanks, I’ll have to add a spiral bit to my wish-list. Christmas is only 4 months away!

View juniorjock's profile

juniorjock

1930 posts in 2360 days


#6 posted 348 days ago

I have a 1 1/2” bit I use on a jig to face joint stock with my router. Get that side flat and then run it through the planer. I bought the bit just for that. Sure beats the hell out of trying to do it with a 3/4” bit.

View muleskinner's profile

muleskinner

662 posts in 1031 days


#7 posted 348 days ago

I’d question that “common piece of advice”. Buy the bit you need for the task at hand.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View wunderaa's profile

wunderaa

179 posts in 797 days


#8 posted 348 days ago

Flattening a workbench or slab

View juniorjock's profile

juniorjock

1930 posts in 2360 days


#9 posted 348 days ago

Yeah, what he said.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7222 posts in 2243 days


#10 posted 348 days ago

Cutting tenons on the router table for one. You can
use it like a stub spindle with a rabbeting cutter on
a shaper.

The geometry of the way larger diameter cutters
cut into the wood is different. That’s part of why
in industrial setting very large shaper cutterheads
are used, even when the depth of cut is not
needed. Larger cutting diameters are said to
result in less need for sanding. Tearout may be
reduced as well.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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